Dare and Hyde counties were among a group of just five in North Carolina that experienced a decline in their unemployment rates between April and May, as hiring by Greater Outer Banks seasonal employers began to increase.
In the 12 northeastern N.C. counties, the total available work force grew by 2,265 people in May to 96,192. The number of employed workers was up 2,008 to 92,553.
Much of that growth took place in the three Outer Banks counties of Dare, Currituck and Hyde, where the labor force increased by 1,679 people. The number of new employees grew by 1,649.
Dare County had the area’s largest available work force in May with 20,471 people (19,765 working). Tyrrell County had the smallest labor force in the state of 1,385 (1,321 working).
The area’s total labor force is up 494 people and 783 workers for the year.
Currituck County had the region’s lowest jobless rate and ninth best in the state at 3.0 percent, while Hertford and Washington counties had the area’s highest and the state’s ninth worst at 4.8 percent.
The region’s combined jobless rate was up 0.2 percent from April to 3.8 percent, while the Outer Banks counties were down 0.1 percent to 3.3 percent. The statewide rate in May 2023 was 3.4 percent.
For the year, the 12-county jobless rate was down 0.3 percent in May and 0.4 percent in the OBX counties. Statewide, the rate dropped 0.2 percent.
The N.C. Department of Commerce reported the jobless rates in 81 of the state’s 100 counties declined when compared to May 2022.
The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in May by 18,428 to 5,070,115, while those unemployed increased by 16,527 to 179,804. Since May 2022, the number of workers employed statewide increased 76,493, while those unemployed decreased 4,675.
Leisure and hospitality continues to pace hiring in the state’s private sector, with an additional 4,300 employees added in May and more than 30,000 over the previous 12 months.
Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 6.3 percent while Buncombe County had the lowest at 2.7 percent.
All fifteen of the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases. Among the metro areas, Rocky Mount had the highest rate at 4.8 percent
while Asheville had the lowest at 2.8 percent.